Rochester Lancers (1967–1980)

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Rochester Lancers
Rochester Lancers70logo.png
Full nameRochester Lancers
Dissolved1980; 41 years ago (1980)
StadiumHolleder Memorial Stadium
OwnerCharlie Schiano (majority)
ChairmanCharlie Schiano
LeagueASL (1967–69)
NASL (1970–80)

The Rochester Lancers were a soccer team based in Rochester, New York that played in the American Soccer League from 1967 until 1969 and the North American Soccer League from 1970 to 1980 at Aquinas Stadium (renamed Holleder Memorial Stadium in 1974). They were owned by Charlie Schiano (majority stake), Pat DiNolfo, Nuri Sabuncu and Tony Pullano.[1]


After three years competing in the ASL, the club jumped to the newer NASL and won the league championship in their first season. They followed that up with a division title the next season and a second consecutive MVP award for forward Carlos Metidieri. During the 1971 NASL playoffs, the Lancers won the longest game in NASL history, 2–1. Game 1 of the best-of-three semifinal against the Dallas Tornado was mercifully ended by league scoring champion Metidieri late in the 6th overtime period, in the 176th minute, less than four minutes shy of playing two complete games in one day! A week later Rochester lost the deciding Game 3 in the 148th minute of a 4 OT battle.[2]

They were the only NASL club in history to participate in an international tournament, in the 1971 CONCACAF Champions' Cup where they finished in fourth-place.

The Lancers could not sustain their early success through the rest of the decade. Posting only a couple of winning records and a few playoff appearances, the team folded after the 1980 season. However, starting in 1978 most of the Lancer lineup competed in the NASL's off-season as the New York Arrows of the Major Indoor Soccer League; under that name the squad lasted until 1984 and won several championships in the other league.

A new team named after the Lancers began play in November 2011 in the third Major Indoor Soccer League.


Year Record (W-L-D) Regular Season Finish Playoffs Avg. Attend.
American Soccer League
1967–68 6–7–2 4th, First Division, ASL Did Not Qualify
1968 6–5–1 2nd, First Division, ASL Runners-up
1969 12–3–5 1st (tie), Northern Division, ASL Northern Division Playoff
North American Soccer League
1970 9–9–6 1st, Northern Division NASL Champions 4,506
1971 13–5–6 1st, Northern Division Semifinals 5,871
1972 6–5–3 2nd, Northern Division Semifinals 5,505
1973 4–9–6 3rd, Northern Division Did Not Qualify 4,069
1974 8–10–2 3rd, Northern Division Did Not Qualify 5,908
1975 6–16 4th, Northern Division Did Not Qualify 5,333
1976 13–11 3rd, Northern Division, Atlantic Conference First Round 5,159
1977 11–15 3rd, Northern Division, Atlantic Conference Division Championships 6,065
1978 14–16 4th, Eastern Division, National Conference Did Not Qualify 6,758
1979 15–15 4th, Eastern Division, National Conference Did Not Qualify 8,680
1980 12–20 4th, Eastern Division, National Conference Did Not Qualify 7,757

NASL Indoor Soccer[edit]

March 19, 1971 the league staged its first ever indoor event, a four-team Hoc-Soc tournament at the St. Louis Arena. Rochester won its first match, 3–1, before falling to the Dallas Tornado, 3–0, in the Final.[3] In the winter of 1975, the NASL ran a two-tiered, 16 team indoor tournament with four regional winners meeting in a "final-four" style championship. Despite hosting their region at the Rochester War Memorial Arena, the Lancers did not progress out of the group. In March they played an additional match, losing to Toronto Metros-Croatia, 10–7, at home.[4] In 1976 the Lancers advanced all the way to the finals before being beaten, 6–4, by the host Tampa Bay Rowdies at the Bayfront Center. The NASL would not sanction a full indoor season until 1979–80, but the Lancers did not participate.[5]

Year Record Regular Season Finish Playoffs
1971 1–1 Hoc-soc tournament Runners-up
1975 1–2 (two-tiered, 16 team tournament) group stage
1976 3–1 (two-tiered, 12 team tournament) Runners-up


Other achievements[edit]

Head coaches[edit]

Team executives[edit]

  • Charlie Schiano: Majority Owner and Chairman of the Board
  • Pat DiNolfo: President and Co-owner
  • Nuri Sabuncu: Executive Vice President and Co-owner
  • Tony Pullano: Treasurer and Co-owner
  • Harold Tausch: Co-owner


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-02-24. Retrieved 2017-03-07.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^
  3. ^ Flachsbart, Harold (March 20, 1971). "Fans Get A Kick Out Of Hoc-Soc". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. p. 6. Retrieved August 14, 2016.
  4. ^ Lewis, Micheal (March 30, 1975). "Lancers bow to Toronto's surge". Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. p. 2D. Retrieved July 12, 2017.
  5. ^
  6. ^,2148965
  7. ^,3078494&dq=indoor+kicks+awry&hl=en
  8. ^ "Hall of Famers". September 1, 2020. Retrieved January 10, 2021.

External links[edit]